Mornings update continued

Monday and Tuesday morning got off without a hitch. Without the fear of being late for school, Ellen immediately backed off and Charlotte once again stepped up. In fact, on Tuesday, Charlotte was the first one down. I came down a few minutes later and saw her lying on the mudroom floor talking to herself. She didn’t see me so I hung back and listened quietly: “Err … hmm … [silence] … well this isn’t working … Ellen would be yelling at me by now. But she’s not here.” Then she got up and got herself ready to go. Two mornings on time, no one left behind.

Wednesday is when they hitch a ride with our neighbor. It started off ok — Charlotte dragged her feet a bit and had to back-track into the house once to get her backpack, but otherwise everyone was ready on time. (I was going to school that day at 8:40 for 2nd grade sing-along, so if Charlotte had been late, she’d have another chance to go in with me then.) I said goodbye and headed back inside. Then I noticed something on the dining room table: four items of food in a little pile that looked a lot like what Charlotte might pack in her lunch. It dawned on me that yes, she remembered her backpack and her lunchbox, but when she opened her lunchbox it would be empty. Oh, bummer, I thought. Well, this is part of it. She’ll be fine. And I didn’t give it another thought.

Later I sat with Charlotte at sing-along and then watched her happily get in line to go back to class. What I didn’t know was that right after sing-along is snack time. So as I was leaving the school, one of Charlotte’s teachers ran to the door and flagged me down:

Teacher: “Hi! Charlotte’s mom?”

Me: “Oh, hi! Yes?”

Teacher: “Charlotte has her lunch box but there’s nothing in it and she’s panicking about what she can have for food.”

Me: “Oh, yeah, she forgot to put her food into her lunch box this morning.”

Moment of awkward silence while we stared at each other.

Teacher: “So … I don’t know … she doesn’t like the school food so I don’t know what she’s going to eat.”

Me: “I know, she’ll get better at remembering her lunch after this, I’m sure.”

Second moment of awkward silence.

Teacher: “So is it ok if she buys lunch?”

Me: “Sure! If she wants to, absolutely!”

Teacher: “Well, she might not eat it … I mean she can eat it or not eat it but we have to at least have some food for her.”

Me: “Yes, right, sounds good!”

Teacher (with a slightly puzzled look): “Ok…alright…bye.”

There was definite tension in the air, and I felt for her, I really did (the teacher, I mean). She’ll have a hungry, slightly crabby, potentially disruptive student for the day. But in the long term it’s soooo worth it!

After school Charlotte complained about school food for about ten seconds and I listened quietly and then we went on with our day.

Explore posts in the same categories: Weeks following: Contributions

4 Comments on “Mornings update continued”

  1. Kristin Says:

    I love hearing about Charlotte as my son (5 1/2) shows MANY of the same traits/tendencies/behaviors as Charlotte (at least the ones you’ve written about). Feel free to let her know the west coast is cheering for her 🙂

  2. Debolino Says:

    1) Now that you’ve been through Charlotte forgetting her lunch already, see how little it concerned you this time!
    2) Love, love, love your matter-of-factness with the teacher.
    3) What would you do if Charlotte missed her ride and you did not have plans to go into town? I have not resigned myself to letting my son miss a day of school yet.

    • flockmother Says:

      Yes, I noticed how quickly I stopped thinking about her forgotten lunch this time too — such a 2-way street this is. But I also noticed how I had to actively ignore the voice in my head saying, “Oh no! What will this teacher think of me when she realizes I’m not going to rescue Charlotte?”

      Ah, I’ve thought about this too. She would stay home with me and then spend the next week earning back her TV/computer privilege by going to school every day. This actually happened during week one: I’ll definitely write about it if it happens again!

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